Ignorance, Killer of Democracy

Much has been written about Donald Trump and his Presidency. Articles giving psychological assessments, or a list of ethical and impeachable violations, or how his character is lacking to lead properly or the pending Russian investigations. A lot of focus on Trump, who he is and how he and his Administration operate.  Also, plenty of "shock and mock" over his statements via Twitter.

While it's important to document all of this and to persist with and protect the Mueller and other investigations, this country is in dire need of learning how to prevent this from happening again. In order to do that, we as a nation need to find out what is the root cause of the elected government we have at the moment. We can vote them out, but they might get voted back in, unless we as a society change. And it is up to the people who vote to understand what makes a candidate a danger to democracy and our Constitution.  At this very moment, Trump supporter Kid Rock is trailing Debbie Stabenow for the Senate in Michigan by 8 percentage points. The crazy is out of control.

A while ago I wrote a blog called America's Embrace of Ignorance, which can be seen here. I outlined the continued actions of Congress to legislate based on beliefs and feelings over facts. The snowball wielding Senator Inhofe who tried  to use the snowball to "prove" Climate Change isn't real, is one of many examples that my article pointed to as the ignorance being woven into our Government and the constituency.

I saw something THEN that was worrying, I knew one day we'd have someone who would completely "snowball" America into destruction because of this lack of truth, facts and reality. This boiling pot, if you will, of simmering ignorance just waiting to spill over. And two years later we got Donald Trump. It is the culmination of years of the republican party fostering bigotry, racism, sexism and slamming education and the press. Full stop. 

Trump is not an anomaly, he is the republican party. Same beliefs, he just says it louder in raw slang --sometimes vulgar or incomprehensible (Covefefe) English--and on Twitter--but make no mistake it is the same message that the GOP has been selling for years.  

And here we are, inside of that perfect storm that gave us the Trump Administration on the verge of our Democracy being destroyed and inside of a full Constitutional crisis looking for a reason why all of this is acceptable to some Americans.

Peak societal ignorance. That's why.

EDUCATION

By education I don't mean Harvard, but a basic societal grasp on facts and reality. It doesn't help Americans when Congress continually cuts public education funds. Education is the answer to ignorance.  Even the most basic knowledge of civic duty is lacking. If this weren't the case then maybe 62 million people who voted for Trump might have thought twice when he campaigned on legislating to ban people based on their religion, a direct violation of one the most important founding principles in our Constitution -Freedom of Religion. 

The key is to not have a society that fosters and encourages beliefs over truth and facts--hint we are in one. This allows for dangerous ignorance to flourish. We have seen lie after lie in this administration, but very little fallout from lying. Trump voters want to believe. And that's what the polls show. So, no matter what Trump does his voters are sticking by him. It's their belief "he is the one" despite the facts and reality that show otherwise. Proof:

The above is a societal problem, a problem we need to admit to and defeat.

This failure to "correct course" when danger arises is how democracies crumble. 

FREE PRESS

Another major contributing factor to societal ignorance is the tactic of attacking the press (something republicans have been doing since Goldwater). This is done to control the information flow to their voters. The message is: The press is nuts folks, facts don't matter, listen to me! In the era of Trump this has grown to alarming new levels of danger--banning the press, off camera pressers and threats to the press and some news organizations labeled as "fake news". This has the overall effect of negating facts and reality in favor of that politician's words and personal beliefs. Indeed  this is a real disaster for the Constitutionally protected Free Press. Free Press is the foundation of a free society, when it's gone so is freedom.

And as we see everyday in the Trump Administration, it's serious. 

AMERICAN APATHY

When a President campaigns on removing 51 Million Americans--most of whom are kids--from insurance coverage, which would cost 43,000 Americans their lives per year---Americans should reflect on why they are apathetic to that suffering and loss of life and why they want to vote for it. Or why they think it's ok to shaft women who need maternity related healthcare, in a country that has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. Apathy towards each other has led to paralyzing polarization and is killing our nation's progress. This apathy is not only for their fellow Americans, but for themselves. The " I'm a brave, brave boot strap patriot who don't need no help", even though you need help and use Obamacare the most  is destroying us. 

Don't lose sight of the future because of the political noise.

We need to start from the ground up and build a strong, educated society that is not afraid of the truth. A society that uses their mind to think and assess right from wrong and knows exactly what Constitutionally protected rights are. Facts need to be taken seriously and not denied in favor wanting to believe otherwise. When people go to the doctor and he/she shows them facts via the lab and imaging they don't say, "No doctor, that's not the truth I know."  They believe the facts presented. The exact same should be true when facts are presented to Americans. The truth should be seen and acknowledged-- on climate change, on pollution and on healthcare. When their President lies and when corruption and immorality is political policy-- the majority of Americans should see it, know it and rebuke it. Loudly.  We should care about one another. We should care whether someone's child dies because of our vote. At the moment we don't. 

This societal sickness - civic ignorance- is spilling over onto the rest of Americans and destroying our Democracy as we know it.  Let's hope we can pull back, change course and save this 241 year old republic and our Constitution from this destructive, vile ignorance. 

~The ignorance of one voter impairs the security of all~

John F Kennedy

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